Monday, January 31, 2005

Adding new yarn in the middle of a row

Adding new yarn in the middle of a row

I don't remember where I learned this but sometimes you just have to add new yarn in the middle of a row. In the pics I used red for the new yarn. Step 1 is to simply lay the new yarn on top of the old yarn and work a few stitches with both yarns held together.

Copmpleted 3 stitches with new yarn

You can see the 4 stitches with both the red and white yarns. Now complete the row with the new yarn and when working the next row, just knit the 4 stitches as if there was only one yarn in the stitch.

Finished stitches with new yarn 
Posted by Hello

Once completed, you really can't see the old yarn since it hides so beautifully unde the old yarn and the additional bulk isn't noticeable, expecially in the felting projects that you are doing.
Hope this helps.

Your doggie sweater looks great. Looks as if you mastered the shaping that you were worried about. Once you learn those basics, then sweaters, coats, etc are just a step away. I haven't knit the Einstein coat but know of others who have and they liked it. Macon is a great place to own a lighter weight coat. Can't get too much use out of it in the midwest.


Next step

Once the first stitch is completed, now pick up the working yarn and complete the next stitch. In doing so the working yarn passes over the "tail" and anchors it so that the first stitch doesn't slip. When the garment is done, work the "tail" into the knitting as you would normally do.

Step 2 of adding new yarn Posted by Hello

I am so glad that I learned this trick for adding yarn at the end of the row. It makes it so much easier to do.

Adding new yarn

I thought I would share with you the technique that I learned from Maureen Mason-Jamieson at the workshop for K.N.I.T. in Tulsa in November since you had some trouble with adding more yarn in the felted bags you were making. She says, at the end of the row when your current yarn won't do a complete next row, make a fish shape (loop) with the new yarn with the short end on top of the bottom end (if you hold it up to look at it). In the picture I am using red yarn so you can see the path the yarn takes to create the new stitch and anchor the "tail" I hope you can see the short tail is above the longer yarn attached to the ball. I insert the right needle into the first stitch as if to knit, then attach the loop I have created over the needle and pull it through, a knit stitch completed.

Adding additional yarn at end of row, step 1 Posted by Hello

I'll put the next step in the next post since I can't figure out how to post more than one picture in a posting.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Icy day

Because outside looked like this today:

I was able to accomplish this:

Rosie's doggie sweater needs some more work, but it's coming a long. If I can find the time tomorrow, I'll be finished and will take a few shots with her wearing it. I used really cheap yarn - but for a dog sweater that will need to be washed over and over, I thought it would be ok. I love to read about the different kinds of yarn and imagine what I could make. I got a new yarn catalog yesterday and I'm excited about placing my next order. I'm really too new at this to look at yarn and look at a pattern and instinctively know how wonderful something could look using that yarn. I guess that's just an excuse to buy more yarn and try new things.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I enjoy your pictures so much that I decided to try it. The first sweater I knit for myself in my teens was a yellow cardigan made with some Benjamin Franklin "dime store" yarn from Main Street, I'm sure. I never wore it very much, didn't like the color, the way it zipped or the way the cables added more bulk to my shape. Since then I've knit a few Arans mostly as gifts for others. I have to design and knit something with Aran techniques for the TKGA's Master's Knitting program. It can be a sweater or a hat. I chose to knit a pullover. I've done the design work and am in the proces of knitting it. Here is where I am at present.

This is the back of the Aran Pullover Posted by Hello

The other technique required is Fair Isle. Since I chose to do a sweater in Aran, the hat must be in Fair Isle. I'm working on a design for it as well. I'll post that picture later.

Back to the needles, KOK (keep on knitting)

Monday, January 24, 2005


Mom's purse is complete. I've here are a couple before felting and after felting photos.

It felted nicely; however, a few of the places where I had either started a new color or started a new ball of yarn didn't hold very well when I washed the bag and I had holes in a few places after the first washing. I stitched them back together and washed again and it seemed to hold up this time around. Next bag I'll keep the tails a lot longer and actually knot the spots where it joins to prevent this. The best thing about felting is it's forgiveness! I'm ready to begin a new project tonight. While I wait on my sweater yarn to arrive, I've got a pattern for a dog sweater that I'm going to start for my mom's dogs. It has some modest shaping involved which maybe I can carry over into my "real" sweater in a few weeks.

I hope you're still enjoying your surger. I understand that it makes a world of difference when sewing clothes - something that I've yet to master. The flannel PJ pants that I made last year were big enough to fit me and my sister in. I've stuck to quilting and making dolls on my sewing machine.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Knitting calcuations.

I have been distracted for the last few days. I bought my first serger and since I have a new toy, I must have some time to play. I already think I should upgrade to the next step up so I can do even more creative things. I made a skating dress for my granddaughter since she is planning to have her birthday party at the ice skating rink. She just loves it and improved a lot over the holidays with more time spent at public skating sessions. I really like to watch her. The dress turned out great. I also made robes for myself, and both my daughter and granddaughter as well as some fleece pants and jackets for myself. It was so cold here last week that I needed more fleece clothing. So I'll put away the serger and now do more knitting.

I wanted to touch on your concern about substituting yarn. I think that some of your knitting books will give you guidance, but basically it all is in the stitch count. First look at the gauge or stitches per inch that the pattern calls for, then look at the total inches for the finished knitting. You can mulitiply the stitches per inch by the total finished inches to get the number of stitches to cast on. Substituting yarn requires you knit a swatch to determine the number of stitches per inch. Use this and do the calculation above. This should allow you to switch yarn at any time. The row count can be changed the same way. Just substitute rows for stitches per inch and complete the calcuations. Hope this helps as you change yarn from what the pattern called for. I find that I do this a lot as I don't always want the yarn called for. Needless to say, a bloody mary doesn't help any of this work.

Right now, I am working on a sweater design for myself. I have a sweater (Talbots) that I really like the way it fits, so I carefully measured it - width, length, sleeve, armhole, etc. so I knew what the finished measurements needed to be. Then, I found a stitch pattern I liked, found yarn I wanted and knit a swatch to determine stitches per inch. Once I knew this I calculated the number of cast on stitches I needed for each piece and I'm off and running with it. I have the back almost completed and I really do like the way it looks. I am always looking for a way that I can make a sweater I could wear to work, since as a consultant I have to look professional. A lot of knitted garments don't lend themselves to professional wear, but the stitch pattern and yarn I chose should be very useful for work.

I'm also working on the Aran sweater design required by level 3 of the master's program. There was a lot of calculations with that one. I'll post pictures if I ever finish either of the sweaters.

Now to finish watching the inaugral which is providing great knitting time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Friends Don't Let Friends...

I learned an important lesson in knitting last night. I came home from work, after a very long day, and decided to relax with a couple of drinks (a bloody mary or two) before picking up my knitting. It was time to set up the straps on the bag that I'm working on. In the process of going through the process of binding off stitches and placing stitches on holders I learned that alcohol and knitting do not mix. :)

Needless to say, I now have a great appreciation for backing up and starting over. The good news is - for the first time I bound off the stitches correctly! I would always end up with 16 stitches on one strap and 17 on another and I'm sure I was well on my way to another uneven stitch count with my first attempt last night. I guess it took a little liquid inspiration.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Airplane Knitting

Last night flying home from Dallas, where I've been all week on business, I sat next to a 10 year old girl who was flying to see some relatives in Atlanta. She was a seasoned flyer and wanted to know what I had brought to keep myself busy on the plane after I asked her about the book she was reading. I don't think she was prepared for the answer.

I brought out the purse I'm knitting for my mother and showed her how I liked to pass the time away. I think she asked about 100 questions. She loved the colors (pink and brown) that I was working with. She loved the feel of the wool/alpaca blend I'm using. She wanted to feel my bamboo needles. I even cast on a few stitches on the double pointed needles I had with me and let her try her hand at it. I guess knitting lessons can happen anywhere!

Here is the photo of the flower I worked on before I left. Lesson learned on the Lion Brand yarn that they claim can be felted... can't. It's not a huge waste of time. Only an hour of two. So you live, you learn. I want to get a larger set of double pointed needles (13 if they make them) and try again.

One thing I'm a little nervous about is down-sizing the pattern I have for the flower. The yarn is bulkier than it calls for, but the color is too perfect for the purse I'm working on (seen here, pre-felting with my youngest cat Nomie napping on it). Any suggestions on downsizing a pattern so the yarn that I'm using doesn't double the size of the piece? It calls for worsted weight, the yarn is bulky.

I should be done with this purse this weekend. I'm ordering the yarn for my sweater this weekend. I have my eye on the Einstein Coat in Melville's Knit Stitch book. I'm open for suggestions if you think there's a better start. I think I'm going to order Reynolds Lopi in a nice Chocolate Brown color (maybe 315 or 87). Maybe it will be here by next weekend and I can get started. Let me know if you have other pattern suggestions!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Old knitter, new blogger

I finally got all the computer stuff worked out, an account created and will now join the blog. I am an old knitter who knows a thing or two about computers, but nothing about blogs. So bear with me, let's hope I get it figured out.
Heather, I am so pleased that you have discovered knitting. I was getting worried that there would be no one in your generation to take this craft into the next generation, since I don't know if any of your cousins interested in knitting. I thought the bags you made were very professional. You're right, admiration is a wonderful thing. It may be one of the reasons I enjoy associating with other knitters so much. They know the work it takes to create something so beautiful and technically comples. I am a member of the Tulsa Knitting Guild, K.N.I.T. (Knitting Needles in Tulsa). It is a great group of women who have so much talent. I enjoyed attending their meetings when I was on an engagement there last year and returned this fall to their fall workshop (with Maureen Mason-Jamieson) to socialize with the women and to learn new techniques for knitting. You never get too old to learn.

Monday, January 10, 2005


I had no idea how important it was to receive compliments on your work. I knitted two purses for holiday gifts this year and gave them to my very stylish sister-in-law and very happenin' mother-in-law. I received a call on Saturday from both of them telling me how much they loved them and how many ohhs and ahhs they've received from their friends. It's very exciting to have someone admire your work - especially when you're not present.

The felted bag pattern I used was "The Lucy Bag," by Two Old Bags. Great for a first time, non-scarf, project and it was fun to see how the huge bag shrinks to the perfect size after three or four washings. I'm hooked on felting. I'll post photos tomorrow of the two completed purses and the one I have in process.

Last night I knitted a flower to felt to use as a pin on the brown and pink Lucy Bag I'm currently knitting for my mother. I'll post the before and after photos of the felting tonight. I'm really into flower lapel pins, so if I can get the sizing just right, maybe I'll make a few to wear to work and add a little fun to my boring suits!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A Start Up

In the past year I've become obsessed with an artform that I only wish I had appreciated while my grandmother was alive. A talented woman with a pair of craft-store knitting needles, my paternal grandmother - better known as Nana to myself and 9 other grandchildren - was, and still is, an inspiration to me. As I sit with my own sticks in hand late at night, I often wonder what she thought about as the yarn passed through her hands and across the tips, evening after evening as she created priceless masterpieces from dime-store yarn.

I'm not a master knitter, yet - although I do have a weakness for beautiful yarns of all colors and textures, which I think is a good start. It must be in the blood! As I grow as knitter, I hope you find my tangles and tantrums interesting.